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Meet "Kirby"


Article by Robert "Kirby" Woods

Photography by Robert "Kirby" Woods

Most people first ask me "How does one get Kirby from Robert?" and I have given a creative, and completely true, answer. "One doesn't...I lost an argument between my parents!"

You see, mom wanted to name me after my grandfathers (Robert was mom's dad and David was father's dad) and my father wanted to name me after a friend's son (Kirby). When everything was said and done, mom legally named me Robert David and father introduced me my entire life as Kirby. I've kept never knows which one will be necessary in any given situation!

For instance, when a patient first meets me, they see more of the Robert persona. I am inquisitive, intellectual, and reserved. This behavior helps to gather all the pertinent information, keep a pleasant environment, and ease connection. I find this helps people get more comfortable with the process and me personally. This demeanor also allows me to get all the information clearly and precisely to facilitate getting to the root of any problem or concern. As the patient and I become more comfortable, I can proceed to bringing out a bit of Kirby.

Kirby is fun-loving, quirky, and deeply emotionally sensitive. This allows me to poke a little fun, get a laugh at life and myself, and (hopefully) bring more comfort into the relationship.

It wasn't always easy to find a rhythm with this personality dichotomy. For a very long time, I tried to be one or the other all the time. It was exhausting and frustrating. I found it hard, at times, to connect with others and to feel like I belonged. Somewhere in acupuncture medical school, I found the courage to experiment.

That is another story, though...